Science Teacher Opportunities

Part of our mission is to help spread the word about opportunities for teachers, teacher leaders, and classrooms, whether they are sponsored by OSTA or not. Check this space regularly for updated information on professional development opportunities, student opportunities, and more!

FREE Teacher Opportunities

Oregon Agriculture in the classroom Regional Workshop

February 11, 2020, Hillsboro. Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom hosts regional workshops around the state providing educators with curriculum and resources that use agriculture as a context to teach core subject standards. Interested in incorporating agriculture, natural resources and the environment into your classroom but not quite sure how? Let us help get you started with a regional workshop. Learn more and register here.

Outdoor School: Creating High Quality Outdoor Science Activities in ODS Programs

During this day-long workshop we will explore some of the characteristics of high-quality curriculum while practicing using the Outdoor School Instructional Resource Self-Evaluation Tool. Participants will learn strategies for revising and/or developing activities using the “Creating Effective Outdoor Science Activities” guide developed by the BEETLES Program out of UC Berkeley. This model uses the learning cycle to guide the process and lays out a student-centered approach to designing science activities focused on exploring and figuring out the mysteries of nature. February 24, Central PointLearn more and register.

ODS: Young Minds Powered by STEAM: Using Inquiry Based Investigations to Engage Students in the Outdoors - Wolf Creek

Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and function, adaptation, and the environmental impact of human activity than in an outdoor classroom? In this workshop you will learn how outdoor school inspires curiosity and enthusiasm in your students that can continue back in the classroom and schoolyard with effective inquiry investigations. Using lessons from the Project Learning Tree activity guide, participants will learn how to use the outdoors as a meaningful context in which their students can engage in Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices and use outdoor based science lessons to reinforce English Language Arts. Lunch included. Participants who attend the entire workshop will receive the Project Learning Tree PreK- 8 guide. This workshop is offered at no cost and is intended for teachers and educators working with 5th – 6th grade youth going to outdoor school. Substitute reimbursement and PDUs available. February 28, Wolf Creek. Learn more and register.

Nature Journaling: Connecting Science, Art, and Writing in the Outdoors

Nature Journaling is a powerful tool that teaches students to become keen observers of the natural world and reinforces important science practices. It also provides an effective way for environmental education to integrate science, art, and writing and to deepen students’ connection to nature. This training will dive deep into this practice, providing teachers with multiple strategies for integrating this practice into their curriculum. Teachers will receive two curriculum resources, the California Native Plant Society Nature Journaling Curriculum and Ricky’s Atlas from Oregon State University Press. Training hours completed can be used towards OSU-Cascades credits. (10 hours = 1 credit.) Facilitated by Kirin Stryker and Jennifer Curtis. This workshop is offered at no cost with substitute fees covered. February 28, Bend. Learn more and register.

First Steps: Science Inquiry in the Schoolyard and Beyond

Join Children’s Forest of Central Oregon (CFCO) partners for a fun and interactive training which provide skills for K-5 teachers to lead effective outdoor educational activities. This training is designed for teachers who are newer to outdoor learning and haven’t attended other Children’s Forest or ONREP trainings. Teachers will spend lots of time outdoors engaging in hands-on science activities that can be taught in the schoolyard or other outdoor locations. Teachers will also learn about tips for group management in the outdoors, logistics for field trips, alignment to NGSS standards, and incorporating math and ELA into outdoor activities. Post-training coaching will be provided to assist with facilitating field experiences, and teachers will receive Project Learning Tree and Project WILD Guides. Teachers are eligible for 1 Graduate credit from OSU Cascades. Facilitated by Carolyn Nesbitt and Karen Gentry. This workshop is offered at no cost with substitute fees covered. March 4 and 7 (participants attend both days), Prineville. Learn more and register.

OCSTA Spring Conference

Please hold the date for Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association Spring Conference on March 7th hosted by George Fox University in Newberg. Come and network with peers, attend sessions to strengthen your skills, socialize and have fun. Check back on the website for updates.

Wild Schoolyards!

Join Wildlife Safari staff as we investigate how educators can transform the schoolyard into an exciting, engaging outdoor classroom. This workshop will usehands-on activities to equip 2nd-4th grade educators to safely and effectively explore nature with their students. Discover how outdoor learning can inspire students to care for the natural world, connect with their community, and grow their abilities. Participants attending the full workshop will receive the Project WILD Activity Guide and Wildlife Safari passes. Registration required. PDUs and substitute reimbursement available. March 10, Winston. Learn more and register.

ODS: Introductory Strategies to Building Social Emotional Skills through Outdoor Learning

Bringing students outdoors provides natural opportunities to slow down, connect, and build social emotional learning skills (SEL). Research supports that many children who attend outdoor school have growth in self-esteem, conflict resolution, relationships with peers, problem solving and motivation to learn. In this day-long workshop, we will share strategies for embedding SEL into outdoor activities such as nature journaling and student centered investigations. You will participate in activities that build and extend students confidence and knowledge as they lead up to and return from outdoor school. This workshop is intended for 5th and 6th grade teachers who participate in or work with Outdoor School. Registration required. Substitute reimbursement and PDUs available. March 15, Silverton. Learn more and register.

Sense your Wild Surroundings

This full day early learner Project Learning Tree and Project WILD workshop will focus on the Pre-Kindergarten educator. Learn how to incorporate natural sciences and multi-sensory activities into your early learner curriculum. Participants who attend the entire workshop will receive Growing Up WILD and Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood curriculum. We will connect providers to local resources and agencies who provide outdoor environmental education. Dress to engage in discovery outside. Be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain. Bring your lunch and a notebook with a pen/pencil. PDUs offered to Oregon Educators. March 21, Salem. Learn more and register.


The NOAA Planet Stewards book club has a great line-up of books slated for discussion for the 2019-2020 academic year. All book club meetings begin at 8:00 pm Eastern Time (5pm PST). Click here to learn more about upcoming books, and how to participate. Have questions? Contact:

FREE Online Courses

Claim, Evidence, Reasoning

Join us as we welcome Berkeley Gadbaw, middle school teacher at Catlin Gabel, and Susan Holveck, Science Program Administrator for Portland Public Schools, to lead a discussion about supporting students to write Claim, Evidence, Reasoning statements in science. Learn more and register here. February 11, 4:30-5:30pm. Learn more and register here. 


In this free one-hour webinar, educators will learn about the problem of Ocean Acidification (OA), hear from NOAA researchers about how OA is impacting crabs and other species in the Pacific Northwest, and discover how Oregon is responding to OA. We'll also share a new OA high school curriculum, and have time for questions. Learn more and register here. February 13, 4-5pm. 

Project Learning Tree

LT offers several online courses. Each online course provides a high-quality professional development experience. Each self-paced course is 3 to 6 hours long, and comprises several 20-30 minute “coursels”. Each coursel has been designed using best practices in online learning and teacher professional development (review The 5+ Guiding Principles for Professional Development for more information). The courses prepare educators to integrate environmental education materials into their instruction. Learn more here.

NOAA Webinar Series

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.). Learn more and register here.

Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact

Climate change is arguably the greatest challenge of our time. Human activity has already warmed the planet by one degree Celsius relative to pre-industrial times, and we are feeling the effects through record heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, the planet will reach two degrees of warming by 2050 - the threshold that many scientists have identified as a dangerous tipping point. What is the science behind these projections?

Join climate scientist expert Michael Mann to learn about the basic scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. We need to understand the science in order to solve the broader environmental, societal and economic changes that climate change is bringing. Click here to learn more and register.

K-12 Earthquake Science Professional Development Opportunity

The University of Portland STEM Education and Outreach Center offers a self-paced on-line Cascadia Earthquake Education course. The course is organized into four modules that introduce plate tectonics and earthquake science then apply this general knowledge specifically to Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunamis. Within each chapter, a video lecture (or series of video lectures) introduces the topic, along with additional videos and animations. Most chapters contain lesson plans for classroom activities and demonstrations. These lesson plans were designed for middle school students but can be adapted to elementary, high school, and college levels. Each lesson plan specifies the Next Generation Science Standards addressed. Most lesson plans have an accompanying set of supporting resources such as student worksheets and answer keys. It is estimated that it will take about 28 hours to complete the course, so successful completion of the course will result in receipt of a certificate for 28 PDUs (28 clock hours for WA teachers). If you have an interest and would like to register for the course, please send your preferred email address to: Bob Butler, University of Portland Professor Emeritus, You will then receive information on how to access this free on-line course!


This course offering from the Stanford NGSS Assessment Project (SNAP) is designed to guide participants in exploring the role performance assessment can play in helping their students meet the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards. Participants will learn SNAP's strategies for analyzing what an assessment is evaluating, analyzing multidimensional student data, and making instructional decisions based on student evidence. Participants will have opportunities throughout the course to practice using these strategies with sample short performance assessments (20 minute tasks) and student data. To learn more and register, click here.

Teacher Training/Courses

Approaches to Integrated Science, Math, ELA, and Engineering Instruction for 3rd-5th Grade Teaching

February 11, 2020, Lane ESD. Engage in exciting 3rd-5th grade units that weave together NGSS science, engineering, math, and ELA standards while using culturally-relevant teaching. Learn more and register here.


Engage your students in outdoor investigations as part of your regular curriculum. Pilot the new educational interpretive hike with Finley staff focused on habitats at the Woodpecker Loop. Using the WILD guide and Upland Prairie Ecology Field Cards we will futher explore prairie habitats and what makes them special. Dress for the weather as we will be out on the trail at least one hour. Lunch included. PDUs available. This professional development is offered in partnership with OSU Extension Service, Benton County and there is a $25 fee. Registration required.  February 29, Corvallis. Learn more and register.

Patterns Physics: Complete Unit 5: Send a Text (Waves & Technology) & Introduce Unit 6: 50 Year Energy Plan (Electricity, Power Production, & Climate Science)

This workshop aims to engage participants in a cell phone and telecommunications project. This 3D learning progression, like the 5 others that make up the Patterns Approach to Physics, integrates PBL, modeling, and the science and engineering practices. We begin with the phenomenon of a cell phone call where the student asks, "how are you hearing me?" That launches us into telecommunications and a learning progression that targets all the NGSS wave performance expectations, and how the ear works. In addition, in the learning progression participants will code a simple app to first encode binary digital information and then decode it back into a text message.

This session also engages participants in activities from an NGSS 3D learning progression that bundles physics, earth science, and engineering and utilizes project-based learning, modeling, and whole-class inquiry. Launched by an Engineering Challenge to create a 50-Year Energy Plan for our state that is solutions-oriented, not gloom and doom. Along the way, students build speakers and electric guitars to investigate motors and generators, engineer the design of wind turbines, mathematically model solar cells, and argue from evidence about power production's effects on climate through modeling and computational thinking. This is a culminating unit in the year-long Patterns Approach to teaching physics, an open-source, collaboratively developed NGSS 3D curriculum ( March 5, Lane ESD.  Learn more and register here.

2020 Superconference: Hook Em For A Lifetime of Learning

Mark your calendars! Our colleagues at the Idaho Science Teachers Association are co-hosting a multidisciplinary conference on August 6-7, 2020. Eastern Oregon folks may want to attend as it will be held in Boise. More information to come! Click here for flyer.

Student/Classroom Opportunities

Introduce a Girl to Engineering!

Female engineers share about their careers and then lead groups of students through an escape room engineering challenge. Sponsored by the Columbia Gorge STEM Hub. February 20-23Learn more and register here.

Happening: A Clean Energy Film and Curriculum 

Watch as Robert Redford’s son James Redford explores the factors driving the transition to clean energy in his feature documentary HAPPENING. To further engage students, the Redford Center created TEACHING HAPPENING, an interdisciplinary, modular curriculum developed to work alongside HAPPENING. Click here to watch a short trailer.

Free to teachers, the classroom version of the film runs 50 minutes and the curriculum supports MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. To access your free HAPPENING streaming link and educational curriculum, click here.


4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd, #1025
Portland, Oregon

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